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The Space Coronavirus Update

Added on, 16 March 2020

Last updated: 18.11 Weds 6 May 2020

As a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we're adapting our activites to best support the cultural organisations we work with in this challenging time. This page summarises our new plans and changes to our existing activities. It also has links to trusted sources of information for cultural organisations in the UK. We will update this page as the situation develops. 

Culture to your couch: arts you can experience at home

We're working to bring audiences cultural content in their homes, whilst supporting the creative teams who have made this work. 

We've curated this set of arts performances you can watch at home.  We'll be adding new performances due to be broadcast or published online soon, as well as working with cultural organisations to bring some past favourites back online and find ways to create new content.

Filmed in lockdown

Filmed in Lockdown is a series of new works of literary, musical, visual, and performance arts, commissioned for Culture in Quarantine by Arts Council England and BBC Arts. Take a look and watch.

Changes to The Space’s programme

In line with the government's advice to avoid non-essential travel, we are moving as many elements of our programme as possible online for the foreseeable future and looking at ways to provide additional remote support for organisations. 

We have contacted commissioned organisations, offering support and guidance to bring work that they have already filmed back online. We are also working with existing partners and new organisations to see how we can enable more of this work to be created, published online and promoted to audiences while they are unable to attend cultural venues.

We have moved our workshops programme to a series of free online webinars. You can book these as they become available.

If you think you might struggle to meet a delivery milestone for an existing project, please email contactus@thespace.org or phone 0121 663 1488. We can then discuss options to help meet your needs. We can also discuss alternative digital approaches to planned projects that might no longer be feasible because of the impact of Coronavirus. 

Wherever possible, we will be keeping our commitments to associates, partners and other suppliers who work with us to deliver our events and other programme elements, so they can work with us on online or remote activities and are not financially disadvantaged by the situation.  

We are currently liaising with Arts Council England and our other partners about ways to provide additional webinars, online resources, mentoring and other forms of support to assist cultural organisations with their digital activities and wider planning during this period. We will provide updates on these plans via social media, our website and our newsletter.

Sources of advice and best practice 

We are grateful to the What Next network and Cornwall Museums Partnership for some of the links and the good practice suggestions below.

Links for general advice

Links for UK cultural sector and technology advice

Running online sessions

Created by Dr Ceri Gorton and Katy Beale, and informed by conversations with online delivery specialists from a range of sectors and countries, the manifesto for good online sessions offers a set of principles and practical guidelines and resources to help people prepare and host good online sessions.

Good practice suggestions

In light of the Government's advice to avoid non-essential travel, the closure of public venues and cancellation of events, organisations will need to review their business planning.

  • Organisations should consider how their boards and trustees can best support with this. This is an excellent time to review HR, health and wellbeing, home working and sickness policies within organisations and to make sure that all senior leaders are aware of how they will apply in a variety of different scenarios
  • Review risk registers and update mitigation plans
  • Use this opportunity to review your contracting practice and ensure that it meets good sector guidelines
  • Review your insurance policies
  • Use your unions and specialist support organisations for specific advice 
  • Assess your use of zero-hours contracts and the support in place for your casual workers  
  • Consider including an ‘in good faith’ clause in your contracts: - link to Good faith (law) - Wikipedia
  • Forward planning for moving/rescheduling events is really important - looking for programming windows for when things might be rescheduled and clearly plan / to put them in place
  • We need healthy dialogue between large orgs (operating as businesses) and smaller organisations and individuals who are contracted by them. If possible, there should be compromises which protect both as much as possible. Consider bringing in your partners to discuss the issues and how you might move forward together
  • We should see this as an opportunity to look again at how we create a culture in our sector where people feel comfortable talking about their caring needs and their mental health needs
  • What are the creative solutions that we can develop?
  • If events are cancelled can we find new ways of reaching audiences?
  • Digital engagement?
  • Can we build these into contracts and planning?
  • Relook at diversity action plans and think about how we support and ally all minority colleagues, artists and audiences